Apr 17, 2018

New Oversight of Tax Regulations Welcome, But Congress Should Do More on IRS Reform

Post by Freedom Partners

Just ahead of Tax Day, the Trump administration announced a new policy that should help ensure that rules promulgated by the IRS are subject to the same oversight and transparency as other federal regulations, a change supported by Freedom Partners, which joined a coalition of other organizations on the issue. The welcome development is also a reminder that more work remains on IRS reform, particularly to protect free speech.

For more than 30 years, many IRS regulations weren’t subject to review by a small-yet-influential agency within the White House Office of Management and Budget called the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Critics, including OIRA administrators in the George W. Bush and Clinton administrations, argued that this practice of bypassing the formal review process has grown too broad.

We agree. Freedom Partners worked with a coalition of other organizations on a joint letter earlier this year. The letter urged the administration to “hold the IRS accountable by working to end its practice of skirting oversight of its rulemakings.”

As more Americans benefit from The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the Treasury Department implements it, ensuring greater oversight and accountability for that work is a step in the right direction and a victory for taxpayers.

We are pleased to see the administration take the lead, but there is still more work that can be done to truly reform the IRS. Congress should swiftly take up and pass The Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act (H.R. 4916), legislation from Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), which passed the House in 2016. It would help preserve the First Amendment rights of Americans and prevent abusive practices by states attorneys general.